YAMANTO Tavern manager Peter Coultas has no regrets about jumping on the cider bandwagon six months ago.
While it was seen as a bit of a risk at the time, the Ipswich venue's willingness to try something different seems to have paid off, with a number of drinkers slowly turning away from pre-mix drinks in favour of something with a little more flavour.
The Warwick Rd tavern now stocks more than 20 varieties of apple and pear cider from across the globe - complementing its ever-expanding range of Australian and international craft beers.
Mr Coultas said the research he'd done beforehand suggested demand for quality cider was growing at the expense of mainstream beers and alcopop style drinks - known in the industry as RTDs (ready to drink).
"I reckon it's growing on the back of the craft beer market," Mr Coultas said.
"I think it has got something to do with people becoming a little more health concious.
"There are a lot of people saying that cider is a lot easier to drink - it's not as vicious on your guts."
The Y-Bar stocks a wide range of ciders, from the Australian made Yarra Valley varieties to New Zealand's Monteith's and Old Mout Cider.
The most popular drop at the moment appears to be the Swedish-made Rekorderlig, which has a naturally sweet strawberry and pear flavour with the added bonus of 4% alcohol volume.
"Ciders are best served on ice in a large glass - they should be enjoyed slowly," Mr Coultas said.
"It's more of a social drink than your RTD because you are enjoying the flavour."
Cider sales account for only 1.8% of total liquour purchases in Australia at the moment, but that figure amounts to a 5% increase from 2010.
"We'll keep growing our range of ciders according to demand," Mr Coultas said.
- Over the past two years, 45 new cider brands have been introduced to Australia.
- There are 31 different cider apples grown in Australia.
- Sutton's Farm in Stanthorpe grows cider apples.